Trinity High School is the best high school football team in the country and sits right in Charlie Strong’s back yard. Ryan White, pictured above, along with James Quick and Jason Hatcher, are the three biggest stars on the team. They all had Louisville near the top of their list of schools, and White even verbally committed to the Cards. It was a no brainer that these three would go on to become Cardinals. After all, Charlie Strong is the best recruiter outside of Nick Saban, the kids are from the city and Louisville is on the verge of becoming a national power.
But then Jason Hatcher committed to Souther California. He was asked if the crumbling Big East had anything to do with his decision to not play at Louisville. His response, “That wasn’t the main reason. I’m not going to say it was a big reason, because I believe you can have success at any school in any conference. But the Big East, that was kind of a small concern being that after the next couple of years they might not even be a BCS contender.”
Ouch. But no worries! Three star corner back Ryan White was committed to Louisville. But then there were whispers that he was pulling out of his commitment. And then the bomb dropped that he was shunning Louisville in favor for Vanderbilt. That’s right. White chose to go to a perennial SEC doormat than to stay with the Louisville Cardinals, a team that some believe have a chance at running the table in the Big East this season.
If James Quick decides to go elsewhere, he is looking at Ohio State and Kentucky among others, then Charlie Strong has big trouble on his hands. The so called “Uber-Recruiter” would have lost three exceptional hometown athletes to other schools. That’s not going to cut it if you are going to get a school to the promised land. Rich Brooks was a firm believer in winning the recruiting battles on his home turf and he did that more often than not during his glory days at Kentucky.
The Cardinal fans/Big East apologists have a major conundrum. In the past they were able to claim that is was better to be a Big Fish in a small pond than be a cellar dweller in the SEC. Now, that logic seems to be proving to be ill conceived.